Barbican Box

Photograph of a wooden box on wheels with letters and images spray painted onto it.

Playful Activism in a box

In 2020-21, Coney partnered with the Barbican, Harlow Playhouse and HOME on the Barbican Box initiative, to make a playful educational resource for schools in Manchester and Harlow.

The Playful Activism Box is a portable box filled with the ingredients for making and creating original artistic work, inspired by the Barbican’s multi-arts programme. Coney’s box is a portal to a Secret Agency. Membership of this offers students the opportunity to be up-skilled in making the art they want to make, using their unique superpowers. These skills are used to co-devise a playful intervention in schools, all about the issues and experiences the students are passionate about. Our approach focuses on encouraging young people to care for others, their school environments, and themselves.

Collage of images from the Barbican Box project.
Graphic of blueprints used for the Barbican Box project.

We created a digital platform that the students could interact with, with the support of their teachers. Inside the box is a variety of games and playful interactions for young people to respond to and explore. Teachers and artists worked together to develop ways to deliver the project with impact, in a way that worked for their schools.


Making team: Brigitte Adela, Ellie Browning, Melanie Frances, Kirsty Harris, Anne Langford, Kieran Lucas, Rebekah Murrell, Toby Peach, Tassos Stevens and Sam Wong.